The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Marketing KPI Template



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14 min


25 April, 2023

To stay up to date with performance within your organisation, it’s important to use a marketing KPI template to track all of the data you collect.

Marketing is a creative field but any decisions rely heavily on data and reporting to ensure all marketing efforts are worth the time, budget, and resources.

As a result, marketing departments need to use detailed insights to make sure campaigns are working and to prove the success of these campaigns to the senior team.

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It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to measuring performance, tracking metrics, and reporting on your entire marketing output, so this is where a KPI template comes in.

In this post, we are going to provide you with an ultimate guide on how to create a marketing KPI template, highlighting 7 key steps to help you get there.

Let’s get started with a simple definition!

What is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

Key performance indicators are measures that help you to understand exactly how your organisation is performing as you work towards your overall goals and objectives.

By choosing the correct KPI’s for your company you can then use them as a tool to continue to evaluate progress towards goals, and ensure your team is on the right path.

For example, an increase in revenue per client (RPC) ultimately means that your overall business revenue is growing.

In a nutshell, in order to be effective, KPI’s must be SMART or:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

As well as selecting KPIs that fit these categories, they should equally be highly focused and limited to the most important metrics for your business.

Rather than trying to measure 50-100 different KPIs and becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data out there, it’s better to drill down into specific areas of data that align with your company goals!

Why is Tracking Marketing KPIs Important for Business Growth

Tracking your marketing KPIs is a vital part of aligning what your team does with the long-term and short-term goals of the company.

Tracking and reporting helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset. For example, if the main business goal is to increase the return on investment (ROI), your KPI data should show that your marketing efforts are working towards achieving this.

Equally, tracking marketing KPIs allows you to identify gaps in your current marketing strategy, as well as identify what is working well and helping towards achieving your company goals.

person pointing at bar chart on laptop screen

What is a Marketing KPI Template?

Once you have decided what metrics your company should be measuring, and why they’re essential to track, it’s time to start tracking them!

Now you may be thinking at this point: where and how is this information going to be stored?

This is where a marketing KPI template comes in as it can help you to organise your KPI data in one concise place.

However, creating a marketing KPI template isn’t all plain sailing as first it’s important to choose which template works best for you from the range of options out there.

For this post we will be briefly exploring the 3 main levels of KPI template design, including:

  • Standard
  • Mid-level
  • Advanced

It goes without saying that the advanced template is the top level marketing KPI template and is often preferred as it contains the most detailed information about the data you are tracking.

Ultimately, the KPI template you choose will depend on your overarching company goals, as for example if you’re a start-up, it may be most important to hone in on tracking fewer, more specific KPIs.

On the other hand, if you’re a marketing manager for a huge and successful organisation that has a hefty marketing budget and access to a wide pool of resources, you may be looking to track KPIs for a larger portion of your marketing efforts.

In order to explain this in more detail let’s break it down and explore each of the 3 marketing KPI templates!

Standard marketing KPI template

Standard Marketing KPI Template

As we mentioned above a standard marketing KPI template should be used if you are just beginning the process of tracking KPIs, as it helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by all of the new data!

Therefore you should use this standard KPI template if you’re new to tracking KPIs, you don’t have a lot of previous data to work with, or even if you’re struggling to get everyone on board with tracking performance this way!

For this template, it’s important that you keep things simple and only include the necessities, such as:

  • The data, why you chose it and how it will help you meet your goals
  • Who is gathering the data and from where
  • The actual percentage or number for each data set, and the target you’re aiming for

This information is a good starting point and will make it easier for you to track your KPIs and compare them over time.

Mid-level KPI template

Mid-Level Marketing KPI Template

Once you have your hands on a larger pool of data, it’s best practice to move up to a mid-level marketing KPI template in order to establish more concrete targets.

This template is very similar to the standard template, however, it allows you to gain a better insight into your data and improve consistency.

This template includes everything previously outlined in the standard template section but additionally outlines if you’re reaching your targets, or how close you are to reaching them.

For this template, it’s useful to include a tolerance range as this will help you to visually identify which targets have been met, and which areas are way off the mark.

We’d recommend using a traffic light system, with green representing an achieved target, yellow representing a KPI just under target, and red indicating that a KPI needs more work and attention.

Advanced level KPI template

Advanced KPI Template

Finally, if you already have established targets and you’re looking to visually see how your data is improving, the advanced marketing KPI template will be for you.

So, marketing managers, listen up!

As with the previous KPI template, this advanced version includes all of the information that the mid-level template has but equally includes charted data.

This essentially means you are able to see how each KPI is progressing from period to period, so everyone with access can keep track of which KPIs need more attention.

How to Create a Marketing KPI Template

Now we have outlined the 3 types of KPI templates, its time to dive into exactly how to create a marketing KPI template that can help you to track, record, and report the performance of all of your marketing efforts.

Not only does creating a KPI template help you to keep an eye on how your day-to-day marketing is ticking along, but it also helps to ensure your marketing is aligned with your overall business goals.

But first, when creating a KPI template, it’s important to start by defining your initial reporting goal.

pile of books with post it notes

Define Your Reporting Goal

Defining your reporting goal comes hand-in-hand with identifying your target audience.

If you are presenting to your senior management team it’s likely that they will want you to provide them with specific pieces of information that link to overall business growth.

For example:

Your CEO may be looking for concrete evidence that your latest advertising campaign for your company’s new product had a direct positive impact on the growth of their brand, and in turns, and increase in sales or leads in leads.

In this instance, it would be best to pull data such as the number of leads, and sales revenue, from the time period between your campaign being released and creating your report.

So, for each KPI template you create, fill out, and present, it’s important to keep your audience in mind as this will help you to form your reporting goal.

Now for this example, the marketing goal wouldn’t simply be “to show the CEO your advertising campaigns work”, although this is important, it may be that you want to ensure that you are allotted a larger budget towards the next campaign due to the current advert’s success.

Or perhaps, you need a larger team or pool of resources to help your vision for the next campaign come to life.

Ultimately, if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve by creating a marketing KPI template then you’ll have a tough time relaying it to others!

Identify Your Audience

Once you have identified your reporting goal it will be much easier to paint a detailed picture of who your audience is.

Your audience is essentially who will see your KPI template.

Whether this is your senior management team, your marketing team, or the company CEO, you need to think about what information they want and need to know.

For example, as we mentioned above your CEO may be looking for specific data on business growth, whereas you may need to communicate gaps or weaknesses in your marketing strategy to the rest of your team.

Therefore, the content of your marketing KPI template depends on who your audience is.

If you’re looking to get a bigger budget approved for your next email marketing campaign, now is not the time to highlight irrelevant figures about your latest Twitter post!

Instead, you need to provide a direct correlation between your email marketing KPIs and the overarching business goals being achieved.

Managers want the bottom line and the specific information that shows improvement, so be concise with what you are including and choose your KPIs accordingly.

tape measure across book cover

Decide on How You Will Measure Success

At this stage you have defined why you’re creating a marketing KPI template and identified your target audience, so it’s important now that you understand how you are going to measure success.

Success will look different from company to company, so you need to dig deep into exactly what you’re looking to measure and how you define success.

For example:

Let’s say you are looking to increase the number of visitors to your website that download a resource, in order to get more contacts on your mailing list to send specific content to.

These leads can then be nurtured and converted into customers over time, so this would be what you define as a success!

The question is, how do you want to measure this?

This success can be measured by looking at the number of people over a specific time period who input their details into a website in order to receive the download.

If this number has increased over the time period, this means your pool of potential customers is continuing to grow.

If the number remains the same, or worse, is on the decline, this tells you that something needs to change in order to regain lead engagement to get them to that point of conversion.

Ultimately, your definition of success depends on the overarching business goals, as your marketing efforts should be geared towards these. Creating a marketing KPI template will be useful to help you measure sales, leads, conversions, and customers which are likely what your company needs for success!

Determine Your Marketing KPIs

The next step to creating your marketing KPI template is to determine the KPIs you’re looking to track.

Let’s take the example of improving your email marketing and increasing your marketing budget.

In order to report effectively on the improvement of your email marketing efforts, you need to be providing specific KPIs that evidence why the allocated budget was worth it in terms of return on investment or growth in sales.

Use this as your opportunity to tell a story with your data and let your audience know exactly how your everyday marketing efforts are working in unison with the goals of the business.

Start by collecting email marketing metrics from the start of the last quarter such as open rate, click-through rate and the number of subscribers, as well as the overall business revenue and the number of leads.

Then collect the data for the end of last quarter, for the same KPIs, and there should be a difference. Hopefully, it’s an increase in all of the numbers across board!

Comparing the two data sets will help you to provide tangible evidence that within a certain timeframe, the KPIs you have tracked have increased.

This may be due to a particular campaign where you focused on promoting your products or services with an exclusive discount code, or provided an incentive for leads to sign up for your subscription service.

annual reports on a desk

Plan How to Collect the Relevant Data

Of course, we don’t expect you to find this data and throw your template together just like that!

We know it takes time to filter, find, and note down the data that you need for your marketing KPI template, and sometimes this can be done natively through the platform you use and sometimes other software can be more effective.

For example, if you were looking to get email marketing data, it would be easiest to go into the platform you use such as MailChimp or Active Campaign and directly pull the numbers.

The same goes for social media marketing as Hootsuite and Buffer provide analytics and insights in-platform for you!

However, for broader KPI data linked to website traffic and visitor behaviour, we’d recommend using Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

This is a platform we have mentioned time and time again on the blog, as we believe it’s super useful at giving you an insight into customer behaviour, where your engagement is coming from and what it looks like!

As a marketing manager, you should be using this software as need access to a wider scope of what efforts you need to work on and what is currently working well.

For example, it’s likely you’ll be putting effort into marketing tasks across the board and tracking them in a marketing scorecard or spreadsheet. But in terms of business growth overall you are looking to target more specific KPIs such as an increase in sales, revenue, profit, leads, and conversion rate.

This is where Google Analytics comes in!

The platform can help you identify exactly how many people are getting to your website to make a purchase due to your marketing efforts. For example, you can track exactly how much traffic to the site is organic, or from social media (and therefore the work you and your team are doing!)

person looking at colour swatches

Make Your Template Design Visual

Although your marketing KPI template is effectively a report, this doesn’t mean it has to be a 20 page written document full or numbers and marketing jargon.

(And if you know us here at Canny, you know jargon just isn’t our style!)

As we mentioned earlier, your senior management team want to know the bottom line: i.e. areas of success, and specific areas for improvement. So, don’t waste time talking about areas of marketing that aren’t on their radar or important for growth right now.

Instead, keep things concise to the point and most importantly make it interesting!

Your marketing KPI template is all about data, and once you have collected the information you need, it’s the perfect time to use your design skills and create a template that is vibrant and engaging.

There are a number of ways to spice up your KPI template, including

  • Using graphs and charts to display data
  • Using company colours in the design
  • Avoiding large chunks of text
  • Using photos and illustrations
  • Choosing visuals that make content easier to understand

Taking all of these steps when designing you marketing KPI template can help to improve how your audience experience the story you’re telling with the data.

It’s also a great way to hold the attention of your audience as I think we can all agree, looking at a nicely designed infographic or chart makes information much easier to focus on and digest!

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Marketing KPI Template

In order to align your marketing with your businesses goals and ensure every effort takes you one step closer to achieving them, it’s essential to create a marketing KPI template.

This template allows you to track specific KPIs central to your organisation’s success and assure your management team that every campaign, blog, or social media post maximises ROI.

Failing to track KPIs can cause your company to fall behind in its marketing efforts as you will continue with your strategy without analysing or reflecting on the success of the current work you’re doing.

Therefore, we’d suggest starting small with a standard marketing KPI template, and go from there, in order to effectively track success as your business grows.

However, reporting on the success of your marketing efforts is no easy feat, and it can be difficult to ensure your KPI template includes everything you need to evidence that the work you’re doing is worthwhile!

Here at Canny we have worked with several marketing managers, helping to take the pressure off by taking care of their content marketing, so why not let us do the same for you?

If you need some support with your current marketing strategy, get in touch with our team today!

Hey I'm Tony, Founder and Director of Canny Creative. I eat, sleep and bleed Canny to be honest. I'm an absolute workaholic (and yes, I know that's not a good thing!).

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